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How Do You Know? pdf

book-icon-openmaktabaBook Title: How Do You Know?
author-icon-openmaktabaBook Author: Ziauddin Sardar. Introduced and edited by Ehsan Masood
number-of-pages-icon-openmaktabaTotal Pages: 357
book-size-in-mbs-openmaktabaPDF Size: 3.23 Mb(s)
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used-language-icon-openmaktabaLanguage: English
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  Ziauddin Sardar, Ehsan Masood-How Do You Know__ Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations-Pluto Press (2006).pdf

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18 How Do You Know?person, which Islam explicitly seeks to nurture and promote. Evenif jihad is reduced to the sole meaning of war, it cannot be war byany or all means. The rules of engagement established by ProphetMuhammad are well known to all Muslims and explain why even theTaliban’s clerics had to condemn the terrorist attacks in America anddeclare them unethical. The most central notion of Islam is tawheed,usually translated as unity of God. But this unity extends to, indeeddemands, moral and ethical unity: Islam insists that there cannotbe a distinction between ends and means, and just causes must bepursued by just means.Given the violence done to the meaning of jihad, it is hardlysurprising that in modern times no call for jihad has translated intosecuring justice for anyone, least of all those on whose behalf andin whose interests it has been proclaimed. A central principle of ourfaith has become an instrument of militant expediency and moralbankruptcy. Those who call Muslims to jihad are deaf to compassionand mercy, the most essential values by which justice and peace mustand should be sought.IJMA: CONSENSUS OF THE PUBLICSimilarly, the idea of ijma, the central principle that guides communallife in Islam, has been reduced to meaning making decisions based onthe consensus of a select few. Ijma literally means consensus of thepeople. The concept dates back to the practice of Prophet Muhammadhimself as leader of the original polity of Muslims. When the ProphetMuhammad wanted to reach a decision, he would call the wholeMuslim community — then, admittedly not very large — to themosque. A discussion would ensue; arguments for and against wouldbe presented. Finally, the entire gathering would reach a consensus.Thus, a democratic spirit was central to communal and political life inearly Islam. But over time clerics and religious scholars have removedpeople from the definition — and reduced ijma to ‘the consensus ofthe religious scholars’. Not surprisingly, authoritarianism, theocracyand despotism reigns supreme in the Muslim world. The politicaldomain finds its model in what has become the accepted practiceand mأ©tier of the authoritatively ‘religious’ adepts, those who claimthe monopoly of exposition of Islam. Obscurantist mullahs dominateMuslim societies and circumscribe them with fanaticism and absurdlyreductive logic.

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